Thursday, October 25, 2007

'Webifying' the Desktop

I have been reading some interesting blogs lately.

Treb Ryan
Bob Warfield

Treb makes the prediction that "All applications will be web applications".
Somebody like myself who is exclusively involved in SaaS will obviously agree with that point, although I would amend it to be "All applications will have a web component to them, will be deployed over the web and will have a shared information repository on the web"

Bob makes some interesting and valid observations about the future of the desktop and how it can survive in the web X.0 world.

What this got me thinking about was "what is good about the desktop which cannot be currently emulated in the browser".

Despite all the fantastic innovation that Web Developers have achieved, they still fall short of the user experience which the desktop can provide be it Vista, Mac OS or Linux. This could be due to the boundaries of the browser.

A lot of talk is about Mashups right now, a good thing.

However wouldn't it also be cool if on your desktop you had your dashboard from your SaaS BI tool displayed in one corner, your list of Tasks from your SaaS Scheduling app in another, a list of contacts from your SaaS CRM tool and then your Question and Answers from Linkedin at the bottom. You could then drag and drop items from one SaaS app to another. All the processing of data would be handled on the hosted app side and you are simply rendering UI results on your desktop.

There is still huge potential in browser apps but the desktop could still provide some interesting opportunities.